ACADEMIC ESSAY: Does Globalisation Reflect Unequal Socioeconomic Structures from a Global Perspective?

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Aqoonyahan Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud

The ideas and thoughts of Globalisation are the processes of international integration through the progressions of trade, ideas and cultural exchange. The world’s advancement of communication, transportation, infrastructure and the internet are the major factors, which engendered the interdependence of politics, economics and the cultural activities. The other basic aspects of Globalisation are trade, and the world’s financial transactions, movements of the capital and international investment. Migration and the freedom of movement of the world citizens, the dissemination of information and intercontinental knowledge are another major motive sectors of Globalisation.

Although, Globalisation in a way has many advantages in a different aspects and dimensions, such as the growth of the global economy by helping to create wealthier societies throughout the global technological advancement, labour availability and skills, freedom of trade by means of augmented production of goods and services. It has also provided a great opportunity for all nation states in terms of economic growth and cultural exchange as well as the formation of the international agreements, to protect the world environment.

 

At the same time, even though Globalisation has those positive characteristics, it also failed to help by closing the gap between the world’s developing and developed countries economically. And it seems that Globalisation recurrently works for the interest of the rich countries, though most of the people in the developed countries disagree this concept of imbalanced economic beneficial of the richest countries from the practicalities of the Globalisation notion, which most of the communities of less economically developed countries accepted as a fact.

 

Therefore, this essay will cover the unequal socioeconomic constructions from the global perspective, and it will mostly focus on between the developed countries, which the term and ideology of Globalisation originated from, and the developing countries who scientifically and technologically depend on the highly developed countries or the Westerners. And finally, the essay will elucidate how Globalisation became an inevitable effect, and how does Globalisation reflect unequal socioeconomic structures from a global perspective. Especially, when it comes the accidental certain to happen and unable to be avoided.

 

At this present time, Globalisation played progressively more significant role in the lives of the international societies. But in the meantime, whether it is a blessing or a curse that has flashed the heated debate. Some social researchers argue that Globalisation has basically beneficial and positive influence in our lives, while many others contend that it has global disadvantages and socioeconomic prejudices by means of detrimental effect. Factors which support Globalisation and made inevitable as a success of the global economy are the reality that most of the Multinational or Transnational companies moved in to less economically developing countries, mostly in Asia and Africa, and established their industries in those developing countries.

 

The new management skills, the new equipment and technology and the creation of the massive jobs are the best interest of the local communities of those countries. On the other hand, there is another positive socioeconomic factor that the International Community or the World’s Nation States commonly agreed on in terms of the global economic scale, and how the Globalisation concept created more wealth along with the remarkable reduction of the international poverty.

 

For instance, China became a member of the World Trade Organisation known as WTO in 11 December 2001, from there China played a big role for the international trade and later became the world’s largest trading power. Most of the world’s biggest industries moved into China and India for a cheap labour and the reality that they are the substantial trading markets that host nearly half of the world’s population.

 

As Sklair (2002) pointed out that the economic and political change of China also encouraged the Western Multinational Corporation to invest in China, where both the companies and the country benefited as a whole, ‘’China had accelerated its opening up of the economy to the outside world in the 1990s, reducing tariffs, negotiating over the sensitive telecommunication market, and forging positive trade relations with many existing WTO members’’ (p. 104). This ‘’forging positive trade relations with many existing WTO members’’ refers when China joined and accepted the Globalisation concept by changing country’s trade regulation in order to obtain foreign investment, the political notion led the country into a prosperous place to live.

 

China is now the second-largest economy of the world after the US and also the fastest growing and most rapidly improving country in the world in terms of GDP. The country’s rapid economic development has taken advantage of the success of Globalisation, which states international trade of global integration. The other main examples of Globalisation advantages are G20 countries, where international trade improved their economy and social wellbeing.

However, although Globalisation enriched the world’s economy as whole, there are still big economic and social gaps between the rich and the poor countries. National infant industry in Africa, South America and most of Asian countries cannot able to compete against the powerful Western industries due to advanced science and technology. The developing countries essentially need some sort of international commercial law, to protect from the international free trade regulations.

 

The absence of this law, local companies have been driven out of the business market, for the reason that the transnational corporation from the more economically developed countries are cheaper to operate and can easily close down local factories.  Another main factor of Globalisation inequality from the global standpoint is the risk of health and safety procedures for the workers within the poor countries. The poor working conditions by way of the low wages of the local workers, because the multinational corporations can operate in the developing countries in a way, which they cannot operate in the more advanced developed countries.

 

According to Beck (2000) stated how the Western Countries enforced the Third World countries to pursue and follow the export-oriented economic policy, at the price of impoverished social and environmental standards. ‘’With low wages, often pitiful working conditions and no-onion zones, these countries compete for foreign capital, both with one another and with rich Western countries’’ (p. 119). This ‘’countries compete for foreign capital’’ refers that the pressure of unemployment rate, which is very high in underdeveloped countries persuade them to accept foreign investment without conditions whatsoever.

 

This means that multinational and transnational corporations can easily set up industries in this poor country with very low rates of corporation tax and then pipe or chimney their earning of profit through this subsidiary. This encouraged by the need and the growing demand of the inward investment of the developing countries. Globalisation promoted further accessibility of technology by means of the improving innovation and communication lifestyle, it also brought a new era of economic prosperity into our world.

 

However, there are other major environmental complications such as the environmental damage, which resulted the causes of Globalisation and the intercontinental economic, transportation, and the energy production of the world. The area of concern that Globalisation has created include the environmental impact, which the International Green Activists always highlight.

 

Environmentalists pointed out that the upsurge of the global consumption of goods and services resulted the mass production like the necessary food as well as the luxury materials, which impacted the ecological cycle of the universe. An example of this global consumption is that the Globalisation increased transportation of materials, and food from one place of the world to another place of the world. Because, nowadays people do not consume local stuff, but rather prefer the terms of cheap prize products from the foreign countries.

 

For example, no one will bother to buy clothes made in Europe or America that is expensive, because of the high wage of the local employees and the national tax of the more economically developed countries while getting cheaper made in China, India and Thailand clothes. Therefore, shipment and transportation will cause that the amount of fuel will increase the pollution levels in the environment.

 

As Lechner and Boli (2008) stated ‘’environmental degradation in the form of air pollution, acid rain, tropical deforestation, and the thinning of the ozone layer affected the entire globe, so it makes no sense for states or environmentalists to attempt anything less than a global approach to such problems’’ (p. 401). This ‘’affected the entire globe’’ refers the negative impact of globalization, which led the environmental problems, such as dumping in oceans and the toxic waste, deforestation and soil erosions. The ecosystem damages of oil split in the Gulf of Mexico is a good example of Globalisation negativity of the global lifestyle.

 

In that case, to come back to the question of inevitability there should be two different ways to be look and address Globalisation. Firstly, the accidental way of Globalisation, which is the effect of economic growth. For instance, the advancement of science and technology such as industry system, communication and the internet drove Globalisation to spread throughout the world, in a way by connecting states economically and socially.

 

And as the market economy grows, it is normal and natural for global markets to become established in previous local areas. For this to happen, free movement of capital and the free trade are important because of technology, market competition and the increased economic freedom.  The second way of looking at Globalisation is by way of a deliberate process, and this seems more precise and accurate. There is much degree of inevitability in this part, but this is much more to do with how states, international interests in terms of business and trade, the global international agreements and economic and financial treats between different states of the world interdepend to another.

 

Globalization is inevitable because businesses, international trade agreements and technology facilitated and made it happen accidentally. And in the matter of technology advancement, politics progress and grow faster, it is always Globalisation that benefits the opportunity to expand and reach every location in the global biosphere, so that Globalisation is inevitable. On the other hand, businesses actively work on Globalisation because the availability, accessibility and affordability of cheaper production costs, and the number of consumers increase in the global market.

 

In conclusion, Globalisation in a global perspective offers many positive achievements to the world socioeconomic scale. However, the existed economic gap between countries has not yet been filled and the gap seems to be widening. The good things about Globalisation according to the Western countries are the availability of better and variety of goods and services to the countless world consumers, and the obtainability of the huge markets.

 

To return consumers benefit, the most competitive price from the competitors, and the rapid spread of the new innovation of technology and the improvement of science across the world. While, lack of restrictions can hamper the growth of the smaller businesses, mostly in the developing countries as per the increase of dependency when importing goods and services.

 

And the worst negative side of Globalisation which is the blowout of communicable diseases of all types of animals, plants and the negative environmental impact. Some economists and political scientists refer that Globalisation is simply and utterly good in so many ways, because it is productive to the world economic interdependency as well as global peace and stability.

 

Others say it is simply and utterly bad, because it is bad for the poor and underdeveloped countries, for the reason that international treaties on World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund are Western made organisations, and most rich countries benefit the system of Globalisation. But mostly, these economic and political philosophers have agreed the inevitability of Globalisation due to technology, science, trade, democracy and neo-liberal ideology of the free market.

 

 

Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The University of Warwick. Email: m.hagi-mohamoud@warwick.ac.uk, mohamedomar1@hotmail.com.

 

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